(Contributed photo)

Town Urges Residents To Sign Up For Organ Donation

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena and members of the Town Board joined with medical professionals from Northwell Health, representatives from LiveOnNY and Long Island TRIO, as well as organ transplant donors and recipients to help encourage organ donations on Long Island. During the ceremony, a ‘Donate Life’ flag was raised on the flagpole in front of Town Hall.

The U.S. average for organ donor registration is about 63 percent, but in New York State, only 48 percent of adults are registered, which is among the lowest rates in the country. In Nassau County, that number drops to just 40 percent of residents. According to LiveOnNY, there are over 100,000 people nationwide waiting for a transplant with nearly 9,000 children and adults on the waiting list in New York alone. Approximately 500 New Yorkers die each year because the organ they need is not donated in time.

“I know when the chips are down, Long Islanders come through. Well, the chips are indeed down so I’m sending out the call to my North Hempstead neighbors to lead the way, not just in April but all year round,” said Supervisor DeSena. “Recipients are forever grateful, but registered donors say they also feel great satisfaction and peace knowing they’ll be saving lives. Even families that lose a loved one say it gave their loss meaning. This is a beautiful and noble endeavor all around.”

Karen Cummings, Senior Manager of Community & Government Affairs at LiveOnNY elaborated, “The reality is just one donor can save up to eight lives, and through tissue donation, that person can actually improve the lives of up to 75 people. That’s an amazing fact and one that I hope inspires people. We’re looking forward to the day we can finally end the waitlist and all New Yorkers can rest knowing that vital organs will be there if they ever need them.”

At the event, organ transplant recipients and donors shared their stories. On hand were heart transplant recipient Jennifer Lentini and Glen Cove firefighter Pete Prudente, who started a chain of donations after he generously donated his kidney to a stranger. Both spoke of the incredible impact transplantation played in their lives.

Dr. Niraj Desai, Director of the Kidney Transplant Program at the Northwell Health Transplant Institute, offered observations on the effect transplantation has on medical professionals who choose the field as well as the relationships that develop between doctors, donors, and recipients.

LiveOnNY is a team of over 300 clinicians, educators, social workers and volunteers who work on the education, advocacy, and logistical planning and management of organ donations in downstate New York. Those looking for information can visit to learn more.

—Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead

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